Play at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth was suspended late on Thursday following the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away earlier in the day
As a mark of respect, no play will take place on Friday, with the DP World Tour to make a decision later today on how the rest of the tournament will be played out. The most likely option would be to cut the tournament to just three rounds, as the shorter autumn days make it unlikely that two rounds could be played in one day. As things stand there are still 30 players yet to complete their first round.
A statement from the European Tour Group said: “On behalf of our members and everyone connected with the European Tour group and the BMW PGA Championship, it is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She truly was an inspiration to people the world over. Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast. Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course. Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with the Royal Family at this time.”
With the West Course softened by recent heavy rain, Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Victor Hovland took full advantage of being able to target the pins with all three players carding eight-under-par 64s to share the first-round lead.
Fleetwood made six birdies on the back nine in a bogey-free round, while Sullivan dropped one shot at the first. Hovland ended his bogey-free round with successive birdies at 16 and 17 and an eagle at the 18th hole.
Matthew Jordan made three successive birdies three times on his way to a 65, while Shane Lowry shares third on six under. Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy opened with a 68, with birdies at 16 and 18 turning an average round into a good one. It was a score matched by defending champion Billy Horschel.
US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick got his tournament under way with a three-under 69.
Of those that have signed up to the LIV Tour, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer are the highest placed on four under. Ian Poulter, who caused controversy by wearing a shirt which bore the logo of his LIV Golf team, Majecticks, is at -3, while Lee Westwood is at -2.